-7 votes

Is War Really a Racket?

Please imagine that one day, looking out your window, you note that a construction crew is building a brick wall around a neighbor’s house across the street and down the way. On subsequent days you note further progress and become perplexed over what your neighbor’s motivation might be. The wall is high and unpleasant looking. It surrounds the home, but for a few meters in the front. You become irritated at this unsightly mess and the damaging effect it has on the aesthetics of the neighborhood.

A few days later you see another construction crew at another home three doors down. They to are beginning the construction of a wall, identical in appearance. You also note with alarm that the few remaining unobstructed meters in front of the initial home are now being sealed shut, brick on top of brick, until finally that house is completely enclosed. There is no entry or exit.

The second wall is now well on the way to completion. Additionally, to your dismay, a third crew arrives and begins the construction of a wall around your next door neighbor’s home, as well as a fourth crew beginning work directly across the street.

One by one the walls rise. One by one the final open spaces are enclosed, until finally, several homes are completely obstructed from view. Foreboding brick enclosures surround half the homes in the neighborhood.

One day, the doorbell rings. You answer and see an obviously distraught neighbor. He points out to you what you have already observed; that most of the homes in the neighborhood have been enclosed. He notes that your home is now enclosed on both sides and the rear, and that only the front is unobstructed. You walk out to survey your property, and with relief, note that, while you’re view is obstructed to the rear and on both sides, there is no construction actually going on within your property lines. You dismiss your neighbor and return to your home.

Finally, one day, you awaken shocked to find that another construction crew is on your lawn, busily erecting a wall across the front of your property. There are several of these big, burley bricklayers, laughing and talking and laying brick on top of brick. You consider your options and with deep regret and resignation, conclude that there really are no remaining options. No neighbors remain with whom you might collaborate on a response. All homes are enclosed. The workmen out front are oblivious to your protestations and you have no doubt, they would surely make quick work of you were you to try and defend the last ever narrower opening. You retreat to your home.

Sitting in your living room, as you observe a shrinking sunlight creeping across the curtains, you contemplate what went wrong. You have always taken pride in being a person slow to involve yourself in the business of others. You believe in tending to your own life and letting others do the same. You abhor violence and avoid the passion of crowds. You are fundamentally peaceful. But sadly, as the last light fades, and room grows dark and gloomy on this sunny summer day, you realize that all these commendable attributes have, together, lead to your demise.

Perhaps it would have been better had you been more involved in the lives of those around you. Maybe if you had called the first victim, you would have understood and empathized with his plight. Then you could have met with other neighbors and organized a response. But no … you valued privacy too much for such course of action. While you support your neighbors’ right to act, you are not responsible for any consequence that may follow from their failure to do so. Further, you did not want neighbors popping up on your doorstep, involving you in their problems, asking for favors, and generally breaking your contentment. You did not want to be entangled in their messes.

Perhaps you should have gone to the gym more often, or taken a karate class.
Then you could have dispatched that final work crew. But this would have been a de facto endorsement of aggression. It would have cost time and money, and such a preoccupation could possibly have lead to a state of mind that encouraged you to deal with situations by less than peaceful means. No! You are a peaceful man. Non-violence is your credo. And it is on that philosophy that you chose to dwell.

The thought occurs to you that you have been inflexible, weak and unprepared. But you quickly discount that notion. The world should be non-violent. The world should respect your right to life and property and freedom of movement. It is not your fault that the world will not cooperate. None of this is your fault. And besides, all this thought about what you should have done and when, or with whom you should have collaborated and how is just too difficult. It is much easier just to believe in peace.

All that matters is that you have been a good man … a non violent man, a consistent man, and that none of the hell outside that window is of your doing.

The End.

We have to realize that there are unfortunate gray areas. Despite all the justifiable reasons we have for mistrusting government, we have to remain vigilant to the world around us and accepting of the fact that there are real enemies both external and internal. We have to understand that it is legitimate for a government to serve as the eyes and ears of its people in a dangerous world. We have to understand that threats are sometimes incremental in nature, and if left unattended, can become impossible to deal with. While we cannot react too soon, or for dubious reasons, we also cannot respond too late or be paralyzed by adherence of a too rigid doctrine of self-defense. We have to remain strong enough to ensure our survival and cannot demonize the notion of legitimate self-defense. Finally, we have to consider the long-term consequence of allowing rampant genocide to prevail, primarily because if we completely discount the importance of the lives of others throughout the world, it is hard to imagine how we will, over the long haul, continue to respect the rights of one another here at home.

I think it is both possible and justifiable to react with extreme skepticism to any argument for military action or assistance, without living in total denial as to how the world really is and the fact that manageable threats can become unmanageable.

I also acknowledge that the presence of tyranny here at home greatly raises the bar on foreign intervention. After all, why seek far way enemies, when the more dangerous ones are so close by.

I further acknowledge that in the short term it is much easier and safer to commit to the idea that "war is bad" . This prevents one from being decieved by a basically evil government. Unfortunately, we have to evaluate crisis on a case by case basis. As tempting as it may be, we cannot cling to platitudes in place of reason. They may may cry wolf 9 times. But we still must scrutinize the 10th.

If there is an overriding point to all this, it is that we should craft a message that stresses the undesirability of war and foreign meddling, while at the same time, acknowledging that war is sometimes necessary as a last resort. It is better to point out the fallacies of certain past wars and the wastefulness of most foreign aid, than to rely on blanket assertions for the future that offend or scare many whom we are trying to reach…and can reach.

Is war always a racket? Usually yes it is, but not always. Best we remember that.



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ecorob's picture

WAR bankrupted the USSR.

It will bankrupt the USA, too, once the apparatus of its power (the unFED) fails.

Yet, the Halliburtons, the Brown-Roots, the DynCorps, the mercenaries, they get stinking rich.

Damn straight its a racket (and I hope Cheney dies of syphilis).

And the elder Bush is crapping in his depends. I hope he strangles on his own puke and dies.

its 'cos I owe ya, my young friend...
Rockin' the FREE world in Tennessee since 1957!
9/11 Truth.

Articulate, well written, thought prevoking.

While I agree and understand most of your point. I don't agree with all.

This could not have been written any better by a think tank on foreign policy based in NYC.

Freedom may be worth searching for.

I have given up on my fellow Americans, (not DPers) as I will not shed one more calorie trying to awaken anyone else who is not a critical thinker and does not have the inherent feeling that something is wrong.

Don't forget about the terrorist

in the closet.

I don't see the need for examples

As I have not held up any particular past conflict as justified.

I said the bar was high, but that a just war was conceivable. I also said that i is possible to go too far in restricting the meaning of "self defense".

I think the analogy to chess is appropriate. A really bad chess player will think one move ahead. To me that is analogous to waiting for enemy boots to cross your border. Many here would say that boots crossing the border be required to trigger the self-defense argument. We must be in “check” in order to respond. But a good player thinks ahead a few moves. A good player assumes Chinese boots on the ground in Panama triggers self defense… or a blockade of Japan. Or whatever. The good player is thinking ahead. He is considering the likely consequence of the latest developments.

I suggest that the only reasonable debate is how many moves ahead we should be thinking. The further ahead we think, the more permutations exist, and the more dubious our conclusions. But failure to think ahead at all is too hazardous. On the other had, you all seem to suggest that thinking ahead more than one move is immoral or unnecessary or whatever. Perhaps you are saying that we should not be playing the game at all.

Of course we have been bamboozled. Of course bankers love war. Of course the general rule is that war has been a racket. But I ask you; would you be comfortable with a defense doctrine that flatly states that war is unnecessary short of an invasion of United States territory? No, we should be mindful of all our enemies, domestics as well as foreign, and those in pinstripe as well as those in camouflage. If we do this, we will fight the right wars.

I have to tell you that some of the anarchistic views on individual consent are lost on me. I follow the constitution. The constitution makes clear that the defense of the nation is one of the few legitimate roles of the Federal Government. It is necessarily a collective action. Parts of nations cannot go to war while other parts defer.

All that being said, most of our wars are illegal as well as unjustified. James Madison changed the phrase "make war" to "declare war" in the Constitution in order to leave to the President to respond to sudden attacks but not to commence war without the explicit approval of Congress. So it was understood that Congress could declare war. It was also understood that presidents could not. So on the face of it, all the undeclared wars are illegal as well as "wrong". Further, note that we always either lose or fight undeclared wars to a draw.

I am rambling. But suffice to say I find it a bit shocking that the unanimous consensus is that our position should be war is always unjustified. There have been many wars of aggression through history that justified resistance.

Even so, one may make the claim that every single American war was unjustified without going so far as to say that war is always wrong. My feeling is that by taking such a position, we lose arguments that we could win. Better to argue that Iraq was wrong or that Vietnam was wrong or that the war of the day being touted is unwise than to simply declare "war is wrong". Better to educate on who stands to gain from unnecessary war and who manipulates us into war than to simply profess "war is a racket." That is tantamount to telling a fat person that eating is evil. Better to tell them to go on a diet.

It simply makes intuitive good sense to most people that our leadership does something beyond sounding a warning siren after the invasion has begun.

we...

Aside from the very good objections posted below, here are some more problems with what you are thinking and writing:

One of the big problems is in the "we." For example, "The further ahead 'we' think, ..."

"We" cannot think. That is a serious problem in your line of thought. There is no collective brain. There is no collective thinking.

Each of us thinks as an individual. War in this context is not so bad. But that is obviously not the context in which you conceive of war. If each of us thinks individually and acts in cooperation for defense, and takes individual responsibility for that action---then I'm good with it.

But this is very clearly not what you're presenting. As pointed out below in a 100% accurate post of faithkills, you are thinking in terms of relying on others to both do the thinking and the fighting for you. To hell with that.

So the analogy to chess is nonsense. Chess is a game of one individual against another. You want to keep your wars between you and some individual enemy you choose? Go for it.

The analogy of the original post is nonsense too. I mean it may make sense in some context, but certainly not in the context of national wars.

Worst of all, you assume some sort of strange dichotomy that people who don't go along with your nonsense analogies and national war theories, are somehow lumped in the straw-man category of "non-violent." Believe me, I am not non-violent. I am non-aggressive. I am not currently executing violence against anyone. That is simply because I am absolutely playing my part in a game of chess against the destructive ideas like the ones you present. But I am absolutely more than happy to become violent when it becomes clear that becoming violent is going to make anything better.

That is sort of the key. When is violence going to produce some kind of improvement? You, as an individual, don't even seem to realize this is *the* question. You think some power hungry morons are going to be able to figure that out under any circumstances? They're going to figure it out, and then give the right order to some naive 18 year olds with M16s, drones, and tanks? No. They are not. That is not going to happen. If this question is going to be figured out, individuals are going to have to figure it out and act. They are going to have to be individually responsible for their actions. Yes, they can act cooperatively. Man I can tell you, if someone figures out where the high speed lead injections need to be administered, they can also figure out how to communicate that information with others and cooperate with them. That will be small potatoes.

As faithkills says: You figure out a way to can get an M16 and the skill to use it into the hands of *anyone* who needs (or might need) to defend him or herself, then you will have figured out how to properly pay attention to and improve the world around us. This is why the Appleseed project is so important.

http://www.appleseedinfo.org/

Did you right the screen play to Red Dawn?

This sounds so familiar.

There are certain enumerated powers within the Constitution. I believe one is raising an army for the common defense. My fantasy of a collective defense comes from that and about 10,000 years of human history. My chess analogy does suppose that there are certain legitimate governmental responsibilities that also relate to monitoring the world and reacting when necessary.

You fall back to individuals cooperating... similar to a town militia I suppose.

Forgive me. But it is your position which is bizarre. Your idea that there is no collective brain is false. Perhaps you consider the components of said brain so abhorrent that you want to wish it away, But the Pentagon, executive branch, Joint Chiefs, CIA, NSA, and the service branches do exist. And in so far as they are communicate, coordinate, prioritize and take action as one, they function as a collective brain.

You want to just wish away all government. I understand the sentiment.

I have been to Appleseed. I loved it. But without a military, a peoples militia would stand no chance against a major power. Why encourage such silliness?

And I find it amazing that you consider my thoughts so far afield when at least they reflect reality, I want to reform reality, You want to fantasize it away,

points

Your points in order:

1. The point of the Constitution was to legitimize exploitation and unlimited power. Just look around you at what it has produced.

The idea that "enumeration of powers" provides any limitation on specified power to do evil (vis-a-vis the Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, i.e., it's OK to steal) is pure propaganda.

Your fantasy notion of a collective defense, therefore, comes from a document containing ideas that have absolutely irrefutably failed. (That is, they have failed from your point of view. When viewed correctly, as a means to legitimize evil actions---which is precisely what the document was intended to do, *that* idea has succeeded spectularly.)

2. The groups you mention do not constitute a collective brain. Here you are simply projecting something which individual humans can do onto certain groups. Yes, individuals in those groups can communicate, coordinate, prioritize, and take action, but what is going on there is a very poor imitation of the thought process and action of an individual.

The difference, if not completely obvious, can be seen plainly when you consider that "orders" are very fundamental in each case. That is, it is required that certain individuals prioritize and that others act based on understanding which they do not personally possess. I'll grant you, there are certain things which can easily be accomplished in this manner---like building concentration camps and executing large portions of the population, building absurd monuments and such things.

But get the point: The majority in such an organization are not thinking at all. It is not collective thinking. It is magnification of a few individuals' thinking through the idea that the majority of resulting individual action is done by individuals who are not accountable for the consequences of the thinking or the action.

Therefore, if you have people who really understand what needs to be done by each individual---legitimate central planning---then that might be great.

The problem is that legitimate central planning is truly a fantasy. No individual can have adequate information to make decisions for others.

3. The individuals who acted on April 19, 1775 might or might not have had a chance against the unthinking British. But the course of events which followed in which Washington and others who think like you decided to do the thinking and give orders, i.e., immitate the British and adopt the structures of tyranny which were the cause of the violent resistance in the first place, had a predictable outcome. It is the outcome of the vast majority being tax serfs whose productive capacity is extracted to maintain and strengthen their bonds and exploit the execution of systematic evil. It is the reality with which we live every day.

Apparently, this is the reality you embrace. I am not fantisizing away anything. I am simply rejecting that which I recognize as evil. You are put in a position to either fantasize it away, embrace evil, or obfuscate it as some kind of "gray area." And you seem to be making every effort to do all three. May your chains rest lightly upon you.

One more thing...

> I have been to Appleseed. I loved it.

But you didn't understand it.

Look, you're better than this.

We need you to be better than this.

That is the message of Appleseed. And you, sir, didn't get the message.

Chains don't go away because you wish it so.

And I have read the constitution. There are enumerated powers, and it is clear that all else falls to the states. Any law can be undermind through obfuscation and deceit, both in the courts and among our representative, the bureaucracy etc.

The system is corrupt. No doubt. My feeling, however, is that the federal government now acts outside of the law. This lawlessness has occured incramentally and subtly, and usually with some strange brew of "legal" opinion providing cover. But it is clear that this is an illegal government. On that we can agree.

But to me, this is apparent in reading the constitution. You argument that the Constitution has failed is correct. It probably logically follows that all law will eventually fail. Thus, we have to conclude that any form form of centralized government in inherantly evil; by its very nature prone to grow both in size and power, and unable to reconcile itself with any law over the long hall.

But lets not ignore the content of the document as they have done. Let's at least agree that they have violated the law and have acted in treasonous fashion. Why join them in their treasonous twisting of words who's meanings were once clear?

So there you have it. I pretty much agree with you. My problem, however, is that I truly feel that some form of government is required, else localities and individuals would be eaten alive. Alas, we need a Government at least powerful enough to protect the rights of the individual. No, government does not grant rights. But legitimately, it provides the muscle to protect them. And don't make the mistake of believing that you can protect yourself. Many a brave and strong person has been trampled underfoot.

What we need, sadly, is "the blood of Tyrants and of Patriots". But this was already assumed from the beginning.

You have decided that the current system is irredeemable. It is so dead to you that, in your mind, it has ceased to exist (sort of like my x-wife). To me though, its like you opted out. In effect, by dwelling on a vision that is impossible to attain, you have given up.

Precisely...

Chains absolutely do not go away by wishing. About that you are correct.

But I have not given up. Recognizing the true nature of the situation, however, is the first step to doing something about it.

Your choice of words is interesting. Ron Paul recently pointed out, that if one decides to "opt out" then "the government will come with guns." Of course, the "government" does not come with guns. Individuals will come with guns.

That is the crucial dynamic to understand (aside from being wise to not become a target). You really need to understand: No government is there to protect rights. It cannot be. The fundamental nature of government is the following:

That certain people can do evil things without being responsible.

That is it. There is nothing more. All legitimate protection of rights comes from individuals acting in a manner that does not require government. Government is not organization, it is not protection, it is a cloak for evil, and that's it. When you understand that, you will understand that government is only there to make evil actions appear legitimate, then you have put yourself in a position to actually do something about the chains.

I do not make the mistake of thinking I can protect my rights alone. I realize that many brave and strong people have been trampled underfoot. I realize that may happen to me. That doesn't negate the fact that rights can only be protected, any good thing can only be done, any useful organization can only be accomplished by individuals who are responsible for their actions. There is no place for disguising evil. Nothing good can come from it. When you understand that, you find there are many legitimate options to start to do something about the chains.

Again, see my post above. No one is suggesting that anyone is going to turn this thing around alone. That is precisely why we need you to understand the true nature of the situation. We need you to become self governing.

Reporter: Why did you go to the fight?

Levi Preston: Young man, you want to know why we went after them redcoats? We had always governed ourselves and we always meant to. They didn't mean we should.

Note carefully, the use of "we" here. This does not mean some kind of magical collective will. It means unanimous agreement. Each one of us as individuals had learned to govern himself, and we always meant to. This is the revolution that happened in the hearts and minds of those colonists. It was not meant to end with them and be exchanged for some kind of tyrannical collective mumbo jumbo.

Yes, they failed. The tyranny of the Constitution was imposed. There just weren't enough of them. But it wasn't because they were wrong, as you contend.

Nothing (I repeat *nothing*) can be accomplished under the delusion of a cloak for evil (government) which is not accomplished by the actions of individuals. Every good thing that can be accomplished is accomplished by the actions of individuals, and if it is good, no gray-area evil BS is necessary.

So

are we to suppose that other evil Governments will never wish harm on "we the people" ? And if not, how do individuals stop aggression on the part of a well organized national military force?

Your position is that all government is evil. There are hundreds of national governments.

I fail to see how we are supposed to live in such a world with no organizing force. I cannot grasp how, in a practical sense, we would survive.

Strength deters aggression. How can we be strong without organization?

think

I said absolutely nothing about "no organizing force." Government is not an organizing force. We can have all the organization we want. We simply need to reject the idea that it is OK for certain special people (the rulers) to do evil things for which any regular person would be punished.

That's all.

We are free to organize. We are free to be strong. Any strength possessed under a counterproductive and evil government is also available to us. How is it possible for you conflate what I have said with rejecting organization?

There are hundreds of national governments, and anything that can be accomplished under the regin of any one of them which allows it to survive in the presence of the others could also be done without the government part. In fact, free men voluntarily defending themselves, per individual, are probably always more organized, more effective and stronger than ignorant slaves laboring under evil rulers. It is not the case that it cannot work. It is simply the case that it has not worked because so few people understand what is needed.

Think about one million people (just one million) self-governing individuals who have the skills to hit any man-sized target within 500 yards and the minds to know what to do with those skills---that is to say American riflemen. If you understand what that means, you cannot fail to understand how we can live, and thrive, in the harshest circumstances.

As Kenneth Royce said: We will win.

It is not because it is too difficult or that it won't work. It is because we have rejected the obvious solution, in principle, out of laziness and ignorance. Those are the first enemies which must be overcome.

My dad used to say this all the time

'War is a racket.' He was 27 years old in WWII, he went all over Europe setting up radio stations. I never knew it was the title of a book by the most decorated Marine in history, Smedley D. Butler.

It's surprisingly easy to read, and only 14 pages long. Here it is for free:

https://archive.org/details/WarIsARacket

I would not go, nor will I send My son off to ANY of these disgusting hostilities!

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~J. Swift

Examples would strengthen contribution.

The allegory of the post works decently enough for the message desired, but the piece would be strengthened by providing at least one example (preferably multiple) of when war wasn't a racket or was actually justifiable based on any of the maxims proferred in the closing paragraphs.

At this time, I come down on the side of war is always a racket, at least every war I can think of in the 20th and 21st centuries. Watch Michael Rivero's "All Wars are Bankers' Wars" and he does a pretty good job of explaining war for profit.

"For what avails a golden key if it cannot give access to the object which we wish to reach, and why find fault with a wooden key if it serves our purpose?" -Augustine

.

> ...we cannot cling to platitudes in place of reason.

But that is precisely what you are suggesting. That is precisely what you are doing.

How is it possible for you to get this so fundamentally wrong on so many levels?

It's always a racket

It doesn't have to be, but what it seems you are defending is always a racket.

What you are defending is socializing the cost of your murder onto others. Same as when welfare staters want to socialize the cost of their bad choices, sloth, or perhaps even genuine guiltless misfortunes, onto others.

It is because you are not paying for your own ends that you misuse the resources you had to steal in the first place. All your incentives are wrong, and it needn't be.

You want an army, fine. We probably even need one in the current world. But you and everyone else who wants one pay for it. I probably would too, if I had a choice. I might even join that army if it was voluntarily paid for by my countrymen solely for the purpose of defense. What a noble profession that would be.

But forcing people to pay for your toys is evil and can only end in evil. Which is why it always does end in evil. Because it has to.

I feel for the Kurds.

But taxes are evil in the first place, and it is especially evil to force American's who may not care, or who may pull for the Islamists, or who may be pacifists, or who understand the necessary end of your intervention, or who simply don't want to pay, to fund your armchair adventures.

Because it starts in evil it will end in evil. At best we'll install just another puppet dictator, at worst we'd just create another power vacuum and result in more slaughter.

If we really wanted peace we'd ship every man women and child in Iraq an M16 and say "thank us later". That would end the killing in 5 seconds.

We had a standing army for 130+ years without an income tax.

According to Dr. Paul we still could.

Im just curious because there seems a common theme in most of those responses; is your position that our current form of government should be replaced by no government or perhaps local cooperatives of some sort? Is that the fashionable thing now? Is being a constitutionalist out-moded thinking?

Is this idea of voluntary defense workable? We would all check a box on some tax return, similar to a campaign contribution box?

I'm not even going to argue with your vision except to say it is not nor will not be reality for a long, long time. While still a long shot, a return to Constitutional Governance is at least conceivable.

It disheartens me that discussions like this always descends into madness on this board. If you read what I wrote you will see that I concede 99% of what you guys believe, But apparently that is not enough. Apparently one has to be all in on some utopian view of localism that could not actually exist for a 1000 years , and probably only after the second coming of Christ, or else you are a "neo-con".

And it was unconstitutional

That's why the Constitution only allows 2 year appropriations for the Army.

That they immediately set about the systematic ignoring of the Constitution by perpetually renewing appropriations shows you the use of Constitutions.

And no. You don't get to challenge us on utilitarian grounds until you explain why socializing the cost of your sloth on others is wrong but socializing the cost of your murder is hunky dory.

After you do that I can explain why socialized murder never ends with actual defense. Mises shows why Socialism can't calculate. Hayek shows why socialism can't know, and must empower the most evil of us. Public choice theory (Buchannan/Higgs) shows why governments have to create problems to expand. (as opposed to capitalist firms)

You are programmed to believe socialism works in this one area. That is not true. Socialism never works. Ever.

The reason it seems to have is because for so long they left the rest of the economy free so they could soak it for resources for socialized murder. That didn't mean it was good or efficient, just well funded. But now they are locking down the rest of the economy, and they are killing the goose.

That's why crimes against people, theft, and murder, are rarely solved. Except when done by the government, which the guilty are always known but never punished. Compared to the state, theft, kidnapping, murder, and slavery basically do not happen.

You can go your entire life without ever getting killed, stolen from, or kidnapped by a private entity.

You don't spend a day without the government violating your rights.

I said it in the beginning. If you really wanted peace in Iraq ship everyone an old M16. Done.

If you really wanted to end Saddam's dictatorship, put a hit on him and increase it until it works. Woulda been a lot cheaper than the several trillion they stole from us and the hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis they killed with our money in our name.

Don't pretend the results we are seeing are accidental. It's because if the government doesn't make a mess they can't claim more resources to 'fix' it.

A market firm screws up and they have to explain to their employees why they have to close shop. A government screws up and they borrow and tax more.

If you want freedom then stop worshiping socialism. Capitalism baby. It's not just for liberals anymore.

+1 Faith

---

I'm afraid I'll need an example

It was a great story, and the point was well made.

But, I'd like an example of just ONE government war that wasn't a 'racket', I can't think of any.

Just open the box and see

Give me one example of when the US

suffered an unprovoked attack by a foreign power. With the exception of the original War of Independence, there was never a need for America to go to war. That is a fact.

War IS a racket, with its perverse lies and incentives.

The valid purpose of having a strong defense is NOT to win wars. It is to make sure we are never attacked. If, for some reason, someone does attack us, we should repel the attackers only, as they are the only truly guilty here. We should NOT bomb and kill innocent people in other countries.

How about 1812?

maybe.

I need to do more research.

I will admit it is possible that is the one exception. When I have more time I will research it more thoroughly.

Can anyone help us out here?

It Is A Racket, Because Of The LIES Involved !

Do the people dying in the wars know the real truths of why their dying ???

The VietNam war caused the passage of Amendment XXVII {The right to vote at 18 years old} because so many Americans under 21 were under the age of 21 who were dying and killing and being killed.

beesting

No

Let someone else waste their money policing the world.
I don't consent.

Southern Agrarian

Not espousing policing the world.

When you play chess, self defense involves looking a few moves ahead. Can you defend by only looking one move ahead?

And therein lies your problem

By using chess as the example, you have already subtly defined it as a conflict, 'us vs. them' and 'them as the enemy'.

I like your topic though, enjoy the pure theoretical aspect.

Apropos

In general it isn't "foreign enemies" that threaten our freedom. It's the gang who claims to be protecting our freedom, and flies flags outside their offices.

Murder is bad. Theft is bad. Slavery is bad. "Government" institutionalizes all three, renaming them "war," "taxes" and "regulation."

Defending ourselves from aggression is perfectly moral. So make a militia with your neighbors. Associate yourselves with other militias, for defense against large gangs (a.k.a. "foreign armies") But imposing a "government" on your neighbors destroys the very liberties you wish to preserve.

Recommended reading: The Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose

It doesn't have to be that way...

Despite the voices of genuine dissent, the march continues in a single direction - candy coated for popular consumption. If significant changes were made regarding accountability, dissent could largely be placated. Obstinateness is counter to progress in that endeavor.

It's that - "let's sneak one in on 'em" - that's so annoying. Everything is veiled - rarely do important issues get exposed to sunlight. Open communication and admission of error - rather than rationalization and little to no communication - is what America needs.

The US Constitution is the best of its kind. While I'm not a fan of clubs, I have respect for the intent of many of the founders - to limit the power of the central government. Ron Paul was right in saying (paraphrasing) - "We'd be a lot better off if they'd simply legalize the Constitution."

If a person waits for other people to make them do the right things, that person will likely be left wanting. People are responsible for their own actions. Blame-shifting always makes for poor excuses.

It's the steady march forward that keeps the ruckus stirred - not any particular man's words.